Quentin Blake is one of those rare gems who’s work has been at the heart of homes across the world for generations. As an illustrator he’s best known for his collaborations with Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, of course, Roald Dahl. His comical story of Mister Magnolia is just one of the titles I can quote from memory, I enjoyed it so much as a child. And who can forget how he brought classics such as Matlida and The Twitts to life? I’m confident that there’s not a house in Britain that doesn’t have at least one piece of his magic on the bookshelves.
Three Little Monkeys is Quentin Blakes latest title, released today, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. The book is accompanied by a CD so you enjoy the audio version by the fabulous Olivia Coleman. Three Little Monkeys tells the story of Hilda Snibbs who lives with three very lively monkeys; Tim, Sam and Lulu. Whenever Hilda ventures out, leaving her three pet monkeys alone in the house, boredom sets in and chaos ensues.
I’ve talked at length before about how raucous Luisa can be – like any toddler, or monkey, I suppose. Her spirited nature means if a story isn’t truly special it won’t hold her attention, she’ll be off causing mischief in no time. Three Little Monkeys has the perfect combination of repetition, chaos and engaging illustrations – it truly mesmerised Luisa the first time we opened it and she has requested it almost daily since. Luisas favourite part of the story is definitely when Hilda discovers the mess in the kitchen, she shrieks with joy when she sees the soup splattered all around.
As a parent reading Three Little Monkeys it almost feels like a black comedy, a parody of the chaotic whirlwind that is raising children. They make a dreadful mess, they rarely listen and regularly disarm you with their big round eyes. Honestly I feel like inviting poor Hilda over for a cup of tea so we can share battle stories!
I’m pretty confident that you’ll be able to recognise your own little monkey in one or two of the pages and that your children will get as much joy from this giddy tale as Luisa does. You can purchase Three Little Monkeys today on Amazon or from any good book shop.